duplicate content issues in Google WMT

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pmfuser
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duplicate content issues in Google WMT

Post by pmfuser » Tue Jun 21, 2016 4:34 am

When I go into the Google WMT, I see duplicate titles and descriptions. When I check an issue I see this:

http://www.example.com/faq/content/7/96 ... stion.html
http://www.example.com/faq/index.php?solution_id=1095

I wonder why it does not redirect when accessing the second php URL? My SEO settings were always for friendly URLs. This is showing for some pages only, not all.

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Thorsten
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Re: duplicate content issues in Google WMT

Post by Thorsten » Tue Jun 21, 2016 7:25 am

Hi,

I see the issue... I think the canonical URL is wrong. Please add another issue on Github. Thanks a lot!

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pmfuser
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Re: duplicate content issues in Google WMT

Post by pmfuser » Thu Jul 07, 2016 6:07 pm

Hi,

After upgrading to 2.9.2 I still see the issue. From what could see, there are two issues:

1. When looking into the FAQ, there's a sort of tag (light blue) in the upper right corner that shows the FAQ's ID. That tag links to the FAQ without using friendly URL translation. It links in the way like "/faq/index.php?solution_id=1149" while it should be whatever is being shown in the browser's address bar. At the end, we may not need that link there at all. It's just a page linking to itself. Showing the solution ID is fine, but we may want to remove the link itself.
2. Every FAQ can still be visited by using the URLs like "/faq/index.php?solution_id=1149" which does not redirect to an SEO friendly one. In such case, a 301 redirect should take place.

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Re: duplicate content issues in Google WMT

Post by Thorsten » Thu Jul 07, 2016 6:09 pm

HI,

we don't need a 301 as we provide a canonical URL in a meta tag.

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pmfuser
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Re: duplicate content issues in Google WMT

Post by pmfuser » Thu Jul 07, 2016 6:56 pm

Well, Google is showing them under HTML improvements, and puts them under two categories:

Duplicate meta descriptions
Duplicate title tags

For the above issues, Google says "Addressing the following may help your site's user experience and performance." Therefore, 301 should be there to clear this up as Google clearly sees an issue with this.

Some reference:
https://searchenginewatch.com/sew/how-t ... -canonical

I did check Google's take on this as well:
https://support.google.com/webmasters/a ... 9066?hl=en

At some point, I see Google saying to go with 301 as well.

I find this similar to WordPress, and I just tested it by entering a URL with the post ID, and WP did 301 redirect to whatever was set in permalinks.

More of opinions:
https://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4669442.htm
https://moz.com/blog/301-redirect-or-re ... ld-you-use
http://www.johnfdoherty.com/canonical-3 ... -redirect/

To me, it looks like canonical should be used if we want to keep multiple pages with duplicate or similar content (so people can still access it for some purpose), while 301 if we don't want people and SEs be able to reach pages in various ways.

At the end, I would like those duplicate content warnings in Google WMT gone, and I only see 301 as a way of fixing it. If there's any reason why some people would want ti this way, there could maybe be a way of implementing WP permalink style as an option in the admin section.

In a meantime, I'll look into fixing it myself via .htaccess.

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Re: duplicate content issues in Google WMT

Post by Thorsten » Thu Jul 07, 2016 6:59 pm

Hi,

would an optional redirect to enable in the admin configuration a good option for you? Would be possible for 2.10

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Thorsten
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pmfuser
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Re: duplicate content issues in Google WMT

Post by pmfuser » Thu Jul 07, 2016 7:10 pm

For sure, even though 2.9.3 would be better. :)

What I find interesting is that Google does not show all of the FAQ pages in HTML improvements, but sticks to some only. Now, what I saw with some other sites I manage, as I implement 301 for i.e. 7 pages listed under HTML Improvements, 3 new appear as those get fixed (disappear from the list).

Anyhow, I believe that having a few options like in WP Permalinks would be great. Actually, it would be just two options in our case I guess. SEO friendly derived from the title or by an ID.

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Re: duplicate content issues in Google WMT

Post by Thorsten » Thu Jul 07, 2016 7:12 pm

Hi,

it would be a change in the configuration database, so it has to be done in 2.10. Please create the SEO related issues on Github, so we can fix them asap.

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pmfuser
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Re: duplicate content issues in Google WMT

Post by pmfuser » Sun Jul 10, 2016 2:05 pm

This has been set now in Github, but I wanted to make another remark, same issue in WMT.

Several pages come up with the same title and meta description:

/faq/
/faq/contact.html
/faq/glossary.html
/faq/news/1/en/some-news_article.html
/faq/open.html
/faq/search.html

While some of the above may not be so important, we certainly want to have more control over how important static pages are titled and about their meta description. Take news for example, the tags should be derived from what's the news, not duplicated from the main settgins. Glossary and contact as well.
Now, as for the home page, we do have the control through the Main Configuration, but that should not then be replicated to other pages.
We also have SEO tab under Configuration, and there could be added some more precise management, or elsewhere within the administration.

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Re: duplicate content issues in Google WMT

Post by Thorsten » Sun Jul 10, 2016 9:04 pm

Hi,

I would suggest to use the headers of these files for the title.

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videoinsight
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Re: duplicate content issues in Google WMT

Post by videoinsight » Tue Aug 02, 2016 10:58 pm

Hi, I've found a temporary solution for duplicate content.

We've uploaded a new robots.txt that disallows /kb/index.php which results in only the friendly URL at /kb/content being indexed and counted.

pmfuser
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Re: duplicate content issues in Google WMT

Post by pmfuser » Wed Aug 03, 2016 1:01 pm

That does not help with pages that have identical meta tags.

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